Arthritis

What is it?

Also called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, arthritis is the most common joint disorder. It affects women and men equally, though men tend to have symptoms at an earlier age. Arthritis begins to develop asymptomatically in the 2nd or 3rd decade of life, and the appearance of symptoms is extremely common by age 70. All weight-bearing vertebrates can acquire arthritis, which develops as the cartilage between bony surfaces wears down. Once the cartilage thins, the bones grind against each other without a cushion, creating pain. Bone spurs may develop as well, which can increase pain and loss of movement. While arthritis is generally considered progressive, it may remain stable or regress.

Key Points:

• Most common joint disorder

• Affects most people, to some degree, by 70 years of age

• Evolves slowly, due to deterioration of articular cartilage and formation of bony outgrowths or spurs (osteophytes)

• Two recognized forms: primary (idiopathic), and secondary

• Most common affected joints: knees, hips, fingers, thumbs, neck, and low back

• Often benign, but severe changes may cause serious disability

• Initial pain may be alleviated with rest and simple analgesics

• Usually worse after motion or towards the end of the day

• Common causes include injury (acute or chronic), overuse, obesity, and gout

How do we treat it?

We understand arthritis to be a sign that your body may not be detoxifying/eliminating properly. The body, in an attempt to save essential organs from intoxication, commonly deposits accumulated waste products in the joints causing inflammation and arthritis. As you work with us to improve your ability to detoxify and eliminate through appropriate routes, this destructive pattern of arthritis will cease. We may recommend a physical therapy such as acupuncture or craniosacral therapy for symptom management as we work with you to resolve the cause of your arthritis.

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